How schools can help close the gap
No honest and accurate discussion about the achievement gap can occur nor can any solutions be found without examining institutional racism in our schools. Whether it is the culture, structures, and procedures of low expectations, whether it is culturally irrelevant or biased curriculum, or whether it is the staff not reflecting the students of urban schools, these among other forms of institutional racism must be addressed if schools are going to close the gap.
Collaborative communities of teachers and learners are also critical, particularly in working with students of color who come from cultures and communities with more of a collaborative, extended-family orientation. Raising student achievement of traditionally underserved populations cannot be done solely by one or two outstanding teachers; it takes a whole focused community of learners to raise achievement. When teachers collaborate with each other, with other adults in and out of school, and with students themselves,
Created on 10/14/04 by Paul Spies of Minneapolis, MN
A teacher's expectations,low or otherwise, is an opinion but is not racism. Also, accusations of culturally-biased curricula have consistently proven false. Finally, the color of a teacher has nothing to do with the material being taught and if that color affects the students' learning ability in a negatative fashion then it is the students who are racist not vice versa. Finally, the comment implying that certain ethnic groups must be taught differently is insulting to the majority of teachers
Created on 07/01/07 by Scott Hill of Houston, TX
Covert levels of racism in the form of low expectations is a subtle but poignant reason minority students struggle. Paul Spies says, "Whether it is the culture, structures, and procedures of low expectations, whether it is culturally irrelevant or biased curriculum, or whether it is the staff not reflecting the students of urban schools." And he is ABSOLUTELY correct.
My own daughter is gifted of the gifted, intellectually, but stifled under the hand of a teacher with low expectations......
Created on 01/13/05 by G. L. Ogren of Boise, ID
Every single one of your comments has been right on. I don't think the achievement gap will ever disappear without educating ourselves about the systemic racism that is engrained in our society and then openly and empathetically discussing how we fit in to the system and how we will work to dismantle the racism that runs rampant in our schools, in our offices, and in our government.
Created on 10/17/04 by Siobhan Boylan of St. Paul, MN